E3 is generally the best venue for a game to be announced and to be as hyped as possible in the shortest time imaginable. This was the case with the original Titanfall, ending up on probably all of Xbox One owners’ shortlist of games to purchase in the near future. It looked amazing, and coming from Respawn Entertainment, it was massively hyped up to release. Upon release though, the game fell largely short to its expectations, and even though it consists of good mechanics and gameplay, it just was not enough to hook players at length like Call of Duty. With its successor though, things look much better for EA and Respawn.
Titanfall 2, just like its predecessor, is a first person shooter game, set in the future. The main concept of the game is the ability of Pilots to call forth Titans, huge mechs capable of unbelievable destruction and able to change the tides of battle in a heartbeat. These titans can be left on autopilot, where they follow their Pilot and engage in small exchanges simply to help their owner. The titan’s main use though is to be controlled by the Pilot, since the combination of both will maximize the potential damage that the machine can output.
Unlike the first game, Titanfall 2 has a full single player campaign, which discards the seamless online “campaign” Titanfall had, which is honestly a relief given how confusing the concept was. The game stars soldier Jack Cooper, who is working to become a fully-fledged Pilot. On his course to become the pilot, the platoon which Cooper is a part of is ambushed and left for dead. After recovering, he encounters BT 7274, a Titan who previously belonged to the mission captain. Having no other option but to team up, the two begin their journey behind the lines of the enemy, waging war against the IMC, the bad guy of the game.
Controls in Titanfall 2 are easy to learn, and when put into action they are so fluid that it almost seems your Pilot is doing all the work himself. Shooting feels fun, and guns all feel different. Sniper rifles and Light Machine Guns pack quite a punch, while SMGs and other light weapons are quite easy to handle and shoot about. Each weapon has its advantages and disadvantages, and some guns are more suitable to certain playstyles than other. Energy rifles for example are great for run and gun situations since they are very powerful and despatch of enemies in seconds. Scoped rifles on the other hand are excellent for picking apart enemies one by one, until you can stroll through the battlefield among enemy corpses. Being able to use two weapons is also very handy since one can mix and match playstyles and gun combinations. For example I find that having one long range and one short range weapon is optimal to deal with any situations that the game may put in front of you.
Titanfall 2 also boasts a great multiplayer experience as well. Unlike the first iteration of the game, there have been multiplayer beta tests before launch. I was a part of the beta test before launch, and it was incredibly fun. Pilots mode in particular really did it for me. Titans are very fun to use and manage, but pilots are much quicker and slicker in movement, and there is nothing better than chaining two or three kills in quick succession with a wall run or a melee punch. Respawn have really upped the ante here from Titanfall 1, with a plethora of new maps and environments which are perfect for you to run around and kill as you please. Titanfall 1 had its share of good maps, but compared to the second game they cannot compare.
The environments oftentimes felt bland and void of life. Maps in Titanfall 2 are varied and consist of buildings and trees and altogether make up a series of maps which one will rarely tire himself of quickly. The different types of terrains and environment in a single map is quite a welcome change from the mundane “base” type of map so commonly found in other shooters. Titanfall 2 also features a lot of gameplay modes which can suit quite a lot of tastes. My personal favourite is the pilots vs pilots mode, where one cannot summon a titan, and because of this the game feels so fast paced and full of action. There are other interesting game modes such as Last Titan Standing, which mode can be deduced from the title. Everyone is inside a titan and it’s an all out brawl until one team wipes the other teams’ titans out.
What many will keep an eye out for is the improvements which Titanfall 2 has made over the original. In this regard, Respawn has learnt its lesson very, very well indeed, recording upgrades in all departments of the game. A major improvement which does not even concern gameplay is the release of the game on PS4. The Playstation 4 is the most sold console ever, and having such an audience eagerly waiting to see what they missed by not having an Xbox a year before pushed the sales quite a lot on Sony console.
Another, and perhaps the most significant change for the better in the second game is the addition of a single player campaign. Players have added this to their wishlist ever since the first game launched, since the online campaign, as mentioned before, was quite weird and did not feel like a story at all. This time around, the guys at Respawn have made sure that players will now experience a major story for Jack Cooper. The story is very well written, and the relationship between BT and Cooper is a joy to watch. You can also influence the dialogue between the two, as you can choose Cooper’s lines from a set of two, prompted on the HUD when BT asks you something. Communication between the two can range from hilarious to very serious, so there is also a human side to the exchange as well.
Graphically, Titanfall 2 looks gorgeous. It is one of the best looking games on the PS4, and with all the different animations and effects, it is a mystery how it holds up so well. I have never experienced a single stutter during gameplay not even in online modes so for this I call Bravo! to Respawn. The soundtrack of the game is a neat addition as well, and oftentimes feel like the perfect accompaniment to the action happening at the moment. Gunshots also sound powerful and fast, which is exactly what you look for in a shooter.